Thiruvananthapuram: Foreign pilots, who
account for around 20 per cent of pilots employed by Indian
air carriers, are expected to be phased out by 2013, according
to a top aviation official on Monday.
"We hope by 2013, India can do without foreign pilots,"
Director General of Civil Aviation EK Bharathbhushan said
Bhushan said more and more youth are entering the
aviation field and backed up by many flying schools there is
a good scope to have only Indian flying crew.
The number of expat pilots have started going down
in the past few years due to pressure from Indian pilots
bodies on DGCA to force airlines to phase them out. Foreign
pilots are also paid higher salaries.
According to the DGCA, the Indian civil aviation
regulatory authority, there were 686 foreign pilots with
airlines in India in 2009. As of March 2011, the number was
around 350. There are about 1,300 Indian pilots.
On the fake pilot license issue, Bharatbhushan said
the ministry had taken the matter seriously and had arrested
16 persons and three DGCA employees in related cases.
To make the pilot exams more transparent, DGCA was
mulling conducting online tests. Its syllabus and a detailed
question bank would be prepared and published on DGCA website
A Rs 350 crore plan for modernisation of DGCA has been
prepared and submitted to the government, he said.
Bharatbhooshan said the country`s civil aviation
sector, which has made a remarkable comeback after the global
financial crunch, is witnessing unprecedented growth these
The sector had crossed 50 million mark in terms of the
number of domestic passengers last year and registered a 24
per cent growth this year till July, he said.
"The financial meltdown, which gripped the world in
2007-08, had its reflection in our aviation sector as
well.But, now, we have returned to the growth path in a big
way," he said.